World Economy

Greece crisis: A week in quotes

After the country's fiery finance minister quit politics on the back of a motorbike, Greece-watchers may have feared an end to all the memorable sound bites on the Greek crisis.

Yanis Varoufakis leaves the Greek finance ministry on his motorcycle with his wife.
Kostas Tsironis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

However, Yanis Varoufakis' peers from across Europe stepped up this week with some well-worded commentary on the progress—or lack thereof—on a Greece deal.

First up, Varoufakis made it clear he was unrepentant about his antagonistic approach to negotiations with creditors— something that triggered his removal as Greek finance minister.

In his blog on Monday, he declared:

"I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride."

This followed Sunday's referendum in which Greeks voted against an austerity-heavy creditor-proposed bailout deal.

So with no counter-proposal yet from Athens, Donald Tusk, the president of the council of the European Union, made it clear on Tuesday that creditors were tired of negotiating and that it really was time for a deal.

The veteran politician, who led Poland out of its own economic crisis, told the European Council:

"I have to say loud and clear that the final deadline ends this week. All of us are responsible for the crisis and all of us have a responsibility to resolve it."

Never shy of giving an opinion, Nigel Farage of the "eurosceptic" U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) announced on Wednesday that Greece exemplified the perils of sacrificing your national sovereignty.

In a speech before the European Parliament, Farage praised Alexis Tsipras' "courage" in holding the bailout referendum and advised the Greek Prime Minister continue his good work by quitting the euro zone.

Farage proclaimed:

"Your moment has come… lead the Greek people out of the euro zone with your head held high."

But also on Wednesday, Flemish centrist Guy Verhofstadt warned Greece to avoid "sleepwalking" out of the euro zone. The former prime minister of Belgium and candidate to be the next president of the European Commission spoke at the European Parliament:

"We are, in fact, sleepwalking towards a Grexit… It is not you and it is not we that shall pay the bill; it is going to be the ordinary Greek citizens."

Towards the end of the week, Greece rushed to deliver the promised "credible" reform proposals. These arrived late Thursday and to skeptics' surprise, included a few further concessions on sales taxes and pensions.

The change in tune was noted by European officials, with some, such as Francoise Hollande, expressing public approval.

On Friday, the French president told reporters, according to Reuters:

"The Greeks have just shown their determination to remain in the euro zone, since the program they are putting forward is serious and credible."

Such was the optimism of the Italian prime minister that he even suggested a day off might be in order. He hoped a deal could be struck by Saturday—a day before Tusk's "final deadline."

At a news conference in Rome, Matteo Renzi, said, according to Reuters:

"Let's hope we don't have to see each other again on Sunday because that will mean that the deal has already been done on Saturday."

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato, follow her on Twitter @KatyBarnato.